GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 12: The Chicago Blackhawks and the Phoenix Coyotes face off to start Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 12, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The NHL released the 2012-13 schedule* one day before the Entry Level draft just because we didn't have enough to be excited about. The Sabres have a completely different schedule than what we are used to in years past. The team only has 11 back to back games this season compared to the 21 they had last season. Much of that is to do with the lack of Friday home games, something that has been a staple for Buffalo in the past few years. Also, they have nine games on Sunday, four of which are at home, compared to the one they had last season.
The full schedule can be seen here, but here are a few highlights to look forward to this season:
- The season opener is Friday October 13th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The month of October features a tough opening stretch with the first three games all at home against the Penguins, the Red Wings, and the Rangers. The Sabres play nine games in the month of October, five of those come at home.
- Of the nine Sunday games, three have a slightly bigger importance. The Sabres will be hosting a "Taligate and Hockey" party on October 28th against the Philadelphia Flyers at 5 pm. That Sunday is the bye week for the Bills. The Sabres are also hosting a home playoff game on Sunday February 3rd, Super Bowl Sunday, at 3:30 pm against the St. Louis Blues. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of Hockey Day in America on March 17th.
- The Canadians will be invading the arena twelve times this season. There will be three appearances from the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Senators; two appearances by Winnipeg and another appearance by the Vancouver Canucks. The Leafs games are all on Tuesdays this year instead of the normal Fridays, due to the lack of Friday home games this year.
- From the Western Conference, the Sabres will be hosting Detroit, Phoenix, Columbus, Vancouver, San Jose, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Nashville this year. They will head to San Jose, Phoenix, Anaheim, Chicago, Edmonton, Calgary, Colorado and Dallas this season. There are only two 10:00 pm or later starts, 11/8 vs. San Jose and 12/22 vs. Calgary.
- Ticket prices and nationally televised games will come out later in the season, but for now, we get a chance to plan out our road trips. As always, this schedule is predicated on the fact that the CBA is ratified in time to not have any delays in the season.